Sunday, September 1, 2019

Bargain Ebook: No Place Like Here by Christina June for $2.99



Released this past May, No Place Like Here by Christina June is on sale for $2.99. This is a contemporary YA novel with Hansel and Gretel inspiration.

Book description:

From Christina June, author of It Started with Goodbye and Everywhere You Want to Be, comes No Place Like Here, a modern twist on Hansel and Gretel.

Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She's just spent a year at boarding school and can't wait to get home. But when Ashlyn's father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for "exhaustion," a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down.

The cherry on top? Ashlyn's father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn't even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed "indoor girl," not even Ash's habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes--inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere--can help her cope.

With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad's marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home.

Fans looking for stories with elements of drama, romance, friendship, and an unflinching look into navigating and improving even the most difficult parent-teen relationships need look no further.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Bargain Ebook: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer for $1.99



A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. Catnip for many of you since this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling!

Book description:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Bargain Ebook: Cloaked In Red by Vivian Vande Velde for $1.99



Cloaked In Red by Vivian Vande Velde is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. This Little Red Riding Hood retelling is for YA and older.

Book description:

So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions: Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged? Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest? Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared? Who is the strangest (notice we're not "not including" anyone, because they're all a little off.)? Who (no fair saying "the author") has stuffing for brains? Master storyteller Vivian Vande Velde crafts eight new stories involving one of the world's most beloved (and mixed-up) characters in literature. You may never look at fairy tales in quite the same way again.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

New Book: Craving Supernatural Creatures: German Fairy-Tale Figures in American Pop Culture by Claudia Schwabe



Craving Supernatural Creatures: German Fairy-Tale Figures in American Pop Culture (Fairy-Tale Studies) by Claudia Schwabe is officially released this week.

The book description below describes the book exceptionally well. As I thumbed through the review copy I received, I appreciated all over again the influence of German folklore on American pop culture. I especially liked for my own personal interests the 2nd chapter on evil queens and witches and the 4th chapter on dwarves. Disney's influence is addressed here, too, for those who study Disney fairy tales. Those Disney dwarfs! When I first started SurLaLune when the internet was in its toddler stage, I was inundated with requests for the seven dwarfs names every day. The internet has grown past my site being needed to answer that question but it reminds me of how much the online information highway has changed since I started playing on it.

Book description:

Craving Supernatural Creatures: German Fairy-Tale Figures in American Pop Culture analyzes supernatural creatures in order to demonstrate how German fairy tales treat difference, alterity, and Otherness with terror, distance, and negativity, whereas contemporary North American popular culture adaptations navigate diversity by humanizing and redeeming such figures. This trend of transformation reflects a greater tolerance of other marginalized groups (in regard to race, ethnicity, ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, social class, religion, etc.) and acceptance of diversity in society today. The fairy-tale adaptations examined here are more than just twists on old stories-they serve as the looking glasses of significant cultural trends, customs, and social challenges. Whereas the fairy-tale adaptations that Claudia Schwabe analyzes suggest that Otherness can and should be fully embraced, they also highlight the gap that still exists between the representation and the reality of embracing diversity wholeheartedly in twenty-first-century America.

The book's four chapters are structured around different supernatural creatures, beginning in chapter 1 with Schwabe's examination of the automaton, the golem, and the doppelganger, which emerged as popular figures in Germany in the early nineteenth century, and how media, such as Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow, dramatize, humanize, and infantilize these "uncanny" characters in multifaceted ways. Chapter 2 foregrounds the popular figures of the evil queen and witch in contemporary retellings of the Grimms' fairy tale "Snow White." Chapter 3 deconstructs the concept of the monstrous Other in fairy tales by scrutinizing the figure of the Big Bad Wolf in popular culture, including Once Upon a Time and the Fables comic book series. In chapter 4, Schwabe explores the fairy-tale dwarf, claiming that adaptations today emphasize the diversity of dwarves' personalities and celebrate the potency of their physicality.

Craving Supernatural Creatures is a unique contribution to the field of fairy-tale studies and is essential reading for students, scholars, and pop-culture aficionados alike.

Monday, May 13, 2019

New Book: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly



Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly is officially released this week. A Cinderella retelling with the focus obviously on one of the stepsisters.

Book description:

Don't just fracture the fairy tale. Shatter it.

Isabelle should be blissfully happy - she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who's cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with her blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle's deception, she's turned away in shame. It's no more than she deserves: she's a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a bold girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Evoking the original version of the Cinderella story, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly uses her trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

New Book: Power to the Princess: 15 Favorite Fairytales Retold with Girl Power by Vita Murrow



Power to the Princess: 15 Favorite Fairytales Retold with Girl Power by Vita Murrow (Author) and Julia Bereciartu (Illustrator) was released late last year.

Book description:

What if princesses didn’t always marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after? In this stunning anthology—elegantly presented in a red, clothbound hard cover with gold-toned metallic debossing—15 favorite fairytales have been retold for a new generation. These princesses are smart, funny, and kind, and can do anything they set their minds to.

Focused on issues including self-image, confidence, LGBTQ, friendship, advocacy, and disability, these stories are perfect for sharing between parents and children, or for older princesses or princes to read by themselves. They teach that a princess is a person who seeks to help others, is open to learning new things, and looks for ways to add purpose to their lives and the lives of those around them.

Get reacquainted with these powerful princesses:

  • Snow White—champion of real beauty
  • Sleeping Beauty—specialist on sleeping disorders
  • Thumbelina—music producer and advocate
  • Rapunzel—world-famous architect
  • Belle the Brave—undercover agent
  • Elisabeth and the Wild Swans—fashion designer
  • Cinderella—prime minster and businesswoman
  • Star and the 12 Dancers—dancer
  • The Goose Girl—stand-up comedian
  • Princess Sevinah (and the Pea)—founder of the Fairyland Dating Service
  • The Snow Queen—winter sports coach
  • The Little Mermaid—advocate for peace between mer-people and humans
  • Zade—storyteller (of 1001 tales) and businesswoman
  • Evangeline (The Frog Princess)—natural historian
  • Little Red Riding Hood—environmentalist and Princess of the Wolves

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

New Book: 7 Dark Tales by Christine Grace



7 Dark Tales by Christine Grace (Author) and Wendy Straw (Illustrator) is officially released today.

Book description:

This collection of seven short stories is a startling and imaginative take on the fairytale form. Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, each narrative gently unfolds, reminiscent of ancient, oral storytelling. The reader is constantly taken in unexpected directions as the tales explore contemporary themes of jealousy, relationships, and death. The beautiful presentation includes stunning full color illustrations and several black-and-white "woodcut-style" illustrations.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Bluebeard's Daughter by Marion Zimmer Bradley



Bluebeard's Daughter by Marion Zimmer Bradley is not a new book, but one I just recently discovered was available in ebook format (although it has been available for a while). Since Bluebeard always fascinates me, I wanted to share it with those who also find the tale fascinating.

Book description:

Sybil Ellis was a seventeen-year-old orphan with very few options: If she didn't want to be a governess or a companion--and she didn't, she had to marry. So she married Dr. Philip Maynard, who was old enough to be her grandfather and treated her like a daughter. In fact, he treated her like Judith, the daughter he had lost, even to calling her by that name and having all of his new servants do likewise. But eventually Sybil learned that there had been other "daughters" before her, and she realized that this was not just a harmless eccentricity.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Newish Book: The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson



The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson was released late last year. This is a fun one and a different twist on Baba Yaga.

Book description:

All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.

But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It's even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties -- and no playmates that stick around for more than a day.

So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it's up to Marinka to find her -- even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.

With a mix of whimsy, humor, and adventure, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

LilRed Slippers by Spring Step



Now these are some of the cutest slippers I've seen in a while if you love Little Red Riding Hood. These the Lilred Slippers made by Spring Step and come in beige or grey. I have images of both colors below and you can shop the web for them but they are not cheap slippers being by Spring Step. Amazon is spot on in the competitive pricing on these.

I own several pairs of Spring Step and Spring Step L'Artiste shoes and I will warn you to ALWAYS size up. I wear 41 European (sometimes even 40) and always need 42 in Spring Step. Ditto if they are sized USA--I wear a 9.5 to 10 and need the 11 in Spring Step. I pretty much wear the largest size they make. I wear average width and the width is always fine for me but the length is always too short if I don't size up. If you actually wear a 10.5 or 11 or larger, you are unfortunately out of luck. But if you have a small, dainty foot, the smaller end of these should fit great even if you think they may be too big. You read enough reviews for this brand and you will see that sizing is a common complaint about Spring Step although the shoes are gorgeous and well made, some of my favorites after Rieker/Remonte (in which I do wear a 41!) for fun sophisticated shoes.

Little Red Riding Hood isn't even my personal favorite fairy tale, but I have to admit I want these. I've had tile floors for a year now and need shoes/slippers around the house year round. I just may be able to justify these for myself. :)








Friday, April 26, 2019

New Book: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer



Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer was released earlier this year. It is a definite catnip book for many of us with inspiration drawing from East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Beauty and the Beast, Tam Lin, and Cupid and Psyche.

Book description:

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf―the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: if she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books- turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

New Book: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer



A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer was released earlier this year. A sequel will be released in January 2020. It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling which is catnip for many of you, I know, because it is for me, too.

Book description:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.